Things to do, part 2
Let the sunshine in
So there you are, after the city tour. You are sitting at the marketplace
and you are moved by the young couple on its way to the city hall to get
The bride is not very pretty, but the sunlight on her embroidered white
wedding dress is enough of a compensation.
You are sipping your beer, thinking: What next? As for all important decisions
in life, the answer is 'it depends'
-on the month of the year for instance
Or on the day of the week.
If it is Saturday, there is a lively market right in front of you.
The best thing to do is to order another beer, and another one, and another
one, in the mean time watching the people pass by. And you don't need the
tourist information machine for that.
If it is Wednesday, at the very same place you can observe 'Gouds Montmartre'.
They promise 'old books' , 'antiquities' and 'artisans'. Indeed, the books
are a little out-of-date; the bric-a-brac that is sold is priced as if
it was real antique. But then, suddenly, you may find something really
interesting, either because it is very beautiful or because it is extravagant
in its ugliness. And it is real fun to talk with the man who makes pipes
out of clay, in the old fashion. His craft should be admired (and his products
should be bought, I haste to say).
For other days of the week, you might prefer a trip to the
lakes: De Reeuwijkse Plassen.
If it is Thursday, you may visit the cheese-and-crafts market. Not long
ago the Gouda cheese market was authentic. People in Gouda would laugh
about the Alkmaar cheese market. It was known to be completely phony. But
times do change. Nowadays, the Gouda cheese market is also tourist territory.
But you are a tourist, if only a virtual one, aren't you? So, HAVE A LOOK...
The trip will take you through canals
and a 17th century lock . Watch the official
on a bike, trying to keep up with the boat, opening and closing all the
bridges you have to pass. You'll experience the bumping of the touring
boat in the small lock.
After arriving at De Reeuwijkse Plassen
you may just wonder how stupid people were with their plans in 1923 to
fill it up and change the lakes into fertile land that would be heavily
subsidized by the Common Market authorities by now. We're glad to say these
plans were stopped.
Or you can take a stroll
in "De Goudse Hout" where water
and earth become almost one without becoming a swamp.
If all this is too much of an effort for you, you might consider to become
an angel and go to the Coffeeshop New Heaven.
And on Sundays? On Sundays there is only one thing to do, ESCAPE! The town
is empty, the shops are closed, and everything seems to be slower than
50 years ago. If you are of the meditative kind, you may perhaps choose
to sit cross-legged at one of the main crossings of Gouda, only to be disturbed
by some pigeons. But if you are more active, do like the Dutch: rent or
steal a bicycle and discover Gouda's surroundings. Go to Rotterdam,
Rain or sunshine, working day or Sunday, it doesn't matter: Let the
sunshine in! And the guardian angels will protect you.